Puslapio vaizdai

occupy the Cape, and, though a show of resistance was made by the colonial authorities, his orders and the internal discontent which prevailed with the rule of the Dutch East India Company facilitated the British conquest. By the peace of Amiens, in 1802, the colony was handed back to the Dutch; but next year the war broke out afresh, and early in 1806 the English retook the colony, which, in 1814, was by treaty finally transferred to them by the restored Prince of Orange.

There were, in 1806, only 27,000 white people, counting women and children, in the colony, and nearly all of these spoke Dutch, for the descendants of the Huguenots had long since lost their French. No people likes being handed over to the government of a different race, and the British administration in the colony in those days was of course, though restrained by English law, necessarily somewhat autocratic, because no representative institutions had ever existed at the Cape. Still, things promised well for the future peace and ultimate fusion of the Dutch and English races. They were branches of the same Low German stock, separated by fourteen hundred years of separate history, but similar in the fundamental bases of their respective characters. Both were attached to liberty, and the British had, indeed, enjoyed at home a much fuller measure of it than the Dutch. Both professed the Protestant religion, and the Dutch were less tolerant toward Roman Catholics than the English. The two languages retained so much resemblance that it was easy for an Englishman to learn Dutch and for a Dutchman to learn English. An observer might have predicted that the two peoples would soon, by intercourse and by intermarriage, melt into one, as Dutch and English had done in New York. At first it seemed as if this would certainly come to pass. The first two British governors were men of high character, whose administration gave little ground for complaint to the old inhabitants. Local institutions were scarcely altered. The official use of the Dutch language was maintained. Intermarriage began, and the social relations of the few English with the many Dutch were friendly. In 1820 the British government sent out about five thousand emigrants from England and Scotland, who settled in the thinly occupied country on the eastern border of the colony, and from that time on there was a steady, though never copious, influx of British settlers, through whose presence the use of the English language increased.

Before long, however, this fair promise of

peace and union was overclouded, and the causes which checked the fusion of the races in the colony, and created two Dutch republics beyond its limits, have had such momentous results that they need to be clearly stated.

The first was to be found in the character of the Dutch population. They were farmers, a few dwelling in villages and cultivating the soil, but the majority, being stock-farmers, lived scattered over a wide expanse of country; for the thinness of the pasture had made the stock-farms very large. They saw little of one another, and nothing of those who dwelt in the few towns which the colony possessed. They were ignorant, strongly attached to their old habits, impatient of any control. The opportunities for intercourse between them and the British were thus so few that the two races acquired very little knowledge of each other, and the process of social fusion was extremely slow.

A second cause was the unwisdom of the British authorities in altering (between 1825 and 1828) the old system of local government, and substituting English for Dutch as the language to be used in official documents and legal proceedings. A third arose out of the wars with the Kafirs on the eastern border; for the farmers thought that the government had not sufficiently protected them, and had, in misapprehension or weakness, restored to the aborigines land which ought to have been added to the colony. These complaints had some foundation.

But the main grievance arose out of those native and color questions which have ever since continued to trouble South Africa. Negroes had been brought as slaves to the colony as early as 1658, and when Britain acquired it, in 1806, there were about 30,000, a number exceeding that of the white population. The usual consequences of slavery, the degradation of labor, and the notion that the black man has no rights against the white, had followed. When, in 1828, Hottentots and other free colored 'people were placed by governmental ordinance on an equal footing with whites as regards private civil rights, the colonists were profoundly disgusted, and their exasperation was increased by the charge of ill-treating the natives frequently brought against them by the British missionaries. Finally, in 1834, the British Parliament passed a statute emancipating the slaves throughout all the British colonies, and awarding a sum of £20,000,000 sterling as compensation to the slave-owners. The part of this sum allotted to Cape Colony was considerably below the value of the

slaves held there, and, as the compensation was made payable in London, many slaveowners sold their claims at inadequate prices. The irritation produced by the loss thus suffered, intensifying the already existing discontent, set up a ferment among the Dutch farmers. Many resolved to quit the colony altogether and to go into the wilderness, where they might live as they pleased, maintaining those old ways to which they clung so closely. They were the more disposed to this course, because they knew that the wars and conquests of Tshaka, the ferocious Zulu king, had exterminated the Kafir population through parts of the interior, which therefore stood open to European settlement. Thus the great trek, as the Dutch call it, -the great emigration, or secession, as we should say,-of the Dutch Boers began in 1836, twenty-five years before another question of color and slavery brought about a still greater secession on the other side of the Atlantic.

If the reader will measure from Cape Town a distance of about 450 miles to the east (to the mouth of the Great Fish River), and about the same distance to the north-northeast (to where the towns of Middleburg and Colesberg now stand), he will obtain a pretty fair idea of the limits of European settlement in 1836. The outer parts of this area toward the north and east were very thinly peopled, and beyond them there was a vast wilderness, into which only two or three hunters had penetrated, though some few farmers had driven their flocks and herds into the fringe of it in search of fresh pastures during the summer. The regions still farther to the north and northeast were almost entirely unexplored. They were full of wild beasts, and were occupied here and there by native tribes, some, like the various branches of the Zulu race, eminently fierce and warlike. Large tracts, however, were believed to be empty and desolate, owing to the devastations wrought during his twenty years of reign by Tshaka, who had been murdered eight years before. Of the existence of mineral wealth no one dreamed. But it was believed that there was good grazing land to be found on the uplands that lay north of the great Quathlamba Range (where now the map shows the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic); more to the south lay the territory we now call Natal. It was described by those who had explored it as fertile and well watered, a country fit both for tillage and for pasture; but wide plains and high mountains had to be crossed to reach it by land, and close to it on the north was the

main body of the Zulu nation, under King Dingaan.

Into this vast wilderness did the farmers propose to set forth; and whatever one may think of some of the motives that prompted their emigration, it is impossible not to admire their strenuous and valiant spirit. They were a religious people, knowing no book but the Bible, and they deemed themselves, like many another religious people at a like crisis of their fortunes, to be under the special protection of Heaven. The colonial government saw with concern the departure of so many useful subjects. But it was advised that it had no legal right to stop them; so it stood by silently, while party after party of emigrants- each householder with his wife and his little ones, his flocks and his herds and all his goods-took its slow way from the eastern or northern parts of the colony, up the slopes of the coast range, and across the passes that lead into the high plateau behind. They traveled in large, covered wagons drawn by eight or ten yoke of oxen, and they were obliged to travel in parties of no great size lest their cattle should exhaust the pasture along the track they followed. There was, however, a general concert of plan among them, and most of the smaller groups united at spots previously fixed upon for a rendezvous. All the men were armed, for the needs of defense against the Bushmen, and the passion for killing game, had made the farmers expert in the use of the rifle. As marksmen they were unusually steady and skilful, and in the struggle that followed nothing but their marksmanship saved them. Few now survive of those who took part in this great trek, but among them is Paul Krueger, now President of the South African Republic, who, then a boy of ten, followed his father's cattle as they were driven forward across the prairie.

I have not space to tell, save in the briefest outline, the striking and romantic story of the wanderings of the emigrant Boers and their conflicts with the native tribes. The first party, like the first host of crusaders that started for the East at the end of the eleventh century, perished miserably. They penetrated far to the northeast, into what is now the territory of the Transvaal Republic. Some were cut off by the natives; some, reduced to a mere handful by fever and by the loss of their cattle,-for they had ventured into the lower country to the southeast of the mountains,-made their way to the coast at Delagoa Bay. Another party, formed by the union of a number of smaller bodies at Thaba 'Ntshu, a conspicuous mountain in

the Orange Free State, visible in the eastern horizon from the present town of Bloemfontein, advanced thence to the north, and presently came in contact with a redoubtable branch of the Zulu race, famous in later history under the name of Matabele. This tribe was then ruled by the chief Mosilikatse, a warrior of great energy and talent, who had subdued the surrounding tribes, though himself unable to withstand the main Zulu nation, which, under Dingaan, was living farther to the south. The Matabele provoked war by falling upon and destroying a detachment of the emigrants. Intruders the latter doubtless were, but, as the Matabele themselves had slaughtered without mercy the weaker Kafir tribes, the Boers might think they need not feel any compunction in dealing out the like measure to their antagonists. And, in point of fact, the Boers seem all through to have treated the natives much as Israel treated the natives of Canaan, and to have conceived themselves to have Old Testament authority for occupying the territories of the heathen, and reducing them by the sternest methods to serfdom or submission. They attacked Mosilikatse northwest of where now the town of Mafeking stands, and defeated his vastly superior force with so great a slaughter that he fled northward far away beyond the Limpopo River, and fell like a thunderstorm upon the tribes who dwell between that stream and the Zambesi, killing many and making slaves of the rest. Here, with the king's kraal of Buluwayo for its capital, was established the kingdom of the Matabele, which remained as a terror to its neighbors till, in its turn, destroyed by Dr. Jameson and the British South Africa Company in 1893. It was a curious chain of events that, in 1837, brought fire and slaughter so suddenly upon the peoples of the Zambesi Valley. As the conflicts of nomad warriors along the Great Wall of China set a-going a movement which, propagated from tribe to tribe, ended by precipitating the Goths upon the Roman Empire, and brought Alaric to the Salarian Gate, so the weakness of the French monarchy, inducing the Revolution and the consequent war with England, carried the English to the Cape, threw the Boers upon the Matabele, and at last hurled the savage hosts of Mosilikatse on the helpless Makololo.

The defeat and expulsion of the Matabele left the vast territories between the Orange River and the Limpopo in the hands of the Boer immigrants. Within these territories those small and rude communities began to grow up, which have ripened, as we shall

presently see, into the two Dutch republics of our own time. But, meanwhile, a larger and better organized body of Boers turned southeastward across the Quathlamba Mountains, and descended into the richer and warmer country between those mountains and the Indian Ocean. This region had been shortly before depopulated by the invasions of Tshaka, and now contained scarce any native inhabitants. A few Englishmen were settled on the inlet then called Port Natal, where now the prosperous town of Durban lies beneath the villas and orchards of Berea, and were maintaining there a sort of provisional republic, for the British government was still hesitating whether it should occupy the port. The Boer leaders, thinking it well to propitiate the Zulu king Dingaan, whose power overshadowed the country, proceeded to his kraal to obtain from him a formal grant of land. The grant was made, but next day the treacherous tyrant, offering them some native beer as a sort of stirrup-cup before their departure, suddenly bade his men fall upon and «kill the wizards.» The whole Boer party perished, and a body of emigrants not far distant was similarly surprised and massacred. by a Zulu army of overwhelming strength. These cruelties roused the rest of the emigrants to reprisals, and, after several engagements, the combined forces of the Boers and of a brother of Dingaan, who had rebelled against him, and had detached a large part of the Zulu warriors, drove Dingaan out of Zululand. Panda, the rebel brother, was installed king in his stead, as a sort of vassal to the Boer government, and the Boers founded a city, and began to portion out the land. But their action had meanwhile excited the displeasure of the government of Cape Colony. Though it had not followed them into the deserts of the interior, it had not therefore ceased to consider them British subjects. Their attempt to establish a new white state on the coast became a matter of serious concern, and as the government considered itself the general protector of the natives, and interested in maintaining the Kafirs between them and the colony, their attacks on the Kafirs who lived to the west of them, toward the colony, could not be permitted to pass unchecked. The British government, accordingly, though unwilling to assume fresh responsibilities (for in those days it was generally believed that the colonial possessions of Britain were already too extensive), thought itself bound to assert its authority over Port Natal and the country behind as far as the mountains. The Boer emigrants resisted, but,

after a short war, made their submission in 1843, after a warm but ineffectual protest against the principle of equal civil rights for whites and blacks laid down by the British government. The colony of Natal was then constituted, first as a dependency of Cape Colony, afterward, in 1856, as a separate colony. A part of the Boers remained in it, but the majority recrossed the mountains (some forthwith, some five years later), with their goods and their cattle, and joined the mass of their fellow-emigrants who had remained on the plateaus of the interior. Meanwhile an immense influx of Kafirs repopulated the country, and in it the blacks are now ten times as numerous as the whites. Thus ended the Dutch Republic of Natalia, after six years of troubled life. While it was fighting with the Zulus on the east, and other Kafirs on the west, it was torn by intestine quarrels, and unable to compel the obedience of its own citizens. But its victories over Dingaan's armies were feats of arms as remarkable as any South Africa has seen.

Hardly less troubled was the lot of the emigrants who had scattered themselves over the wide uplands that lie between the Orange River and the Limpopo. They too were engaged in incessant wars with the native tribes, who were, however, less formidable than the Zulus, and much cattle-lifting went on upon both sides. Only one native tribe and one native chief stand out from the confused tangle of petty raids and forays which makes up (after the expulsion of the Matabele) the earlier annals of the northern Boer communities. This chief was the famous Moshesh, to speak of whose career I shall digress for a moment from the thread of this narrative. The Kafir races have produced within this century three really remarkable men-men who, like Toussaint l'Ouverture in Hayti, and Kamehameha I. in Hawaii, will go down in history as instances of the gifts that sometimes show themselves even among the most backward races. Tshaka, the Zulu, was a warrior of extraordinary energy and ambition, whose power of organization enabled him to raise the Zulu army within a few years to a perfection of drill and discipline and a swiftness of movement which made them irresistible, except by Europeans. Khama, the chief who still reigns among the Bechuanas, has been a social reformer and administrator of wonderful judgment, tact, and firmness, who has kept his people in domestic peace, and protected them from the dangerous influences which white civilization usually brings with it, and especially from strong drink, while at the same

VOL. LII.-32.

time helping them skilfully onward toward such improvements as their character admits. Moshesh, chief of the Basutos, was born in the end of the last century. He belonged to a small clan which had suffered severely in the wars caused by the conquests of Tshaka, whose attacks upon the tribes nearest him had driven them upon other tribes, and brought slaughter and confusion upon the whole of southeastern Africa. Though only a younger son, his enterprise and courage soon made him a leader. Adherents gathered about him. The progress of his power was aided by the skill he showed in selecting a residence and stronghold. In what is now Basutoland, about twelve miles south of the Caledon River, there is a flat-topped hill, called Thaba Bosiyo, nearly two miles long, and from half a mile to a quarter of a mile wide. It rises some 600 feet from the broad valley beneath, and is fenced all about by precipitous cliffs of white sandstone-cliffs not very lofty, but so continuously abrupt that at three points only can an ascent be made, and even in these points only by a steep and narrow track. The level top of the hill is grass-covered, and watered by several springs. Here Moshesh fixed himself, and in this impregnable stronghold he resisted repeated sieges by his native enemies and by the emigrant Boers. On one occasion, in the war which began in 1865, a storming party of the latter had climbed the path by which the easiest access was to be obtained-a path leading up a cleft which the decomposition of a greenstone dike, traversing the sandstone rock, had formed. They were within thirty yards of the open top of the hill when their leader fell, pierced by a bullet from one of the few guns which Moshesh possessed. The storming party halted, and then fell back, and the siege was shortly afterward abandoned. The exploits of Moshesh against his native foes soon brought adherents to him, and he became the head of that powerful tribe, largely formed out of the fragments of other tribes scattered and shattered by war, which is now called the Basuto. Unlike most Kafir warriors, he was singularly free from cruelty, and ruled his own people with a mildness which made him liked as well as respected. In 1832 he had the foresight to invite missionaries to come and settle among his people, and the following year saw the establishment of the mission of the Evangelical Society of Paris, the members of which, some of them French, some Swiss, some Scotch, have been the most potent factors in the subsequent history of the Basuto nation. When the inevitable collision between the Basutos and the white men

arrived, Moshesh was substantially aided by the advice of the missionaries, and partly through their counsels, partly from his own prudence, did his best to avoid any fatal breach with the British government. Nevertheless he was several times engaged in war with the Boers, and once had to withstand the attack of a strong British force, led by the governor of Cape Colony. But his tactful diplomacy made him a match for any European opponent, and carried him through every political danger. When this British army had suffered a reverse in a somewhat imprudent movement made against him, Moshesh, instead of renewing the combat, seized the moment to propose terms of peace and friendship, which, while they extricated his antagonist from an annoying position, raised his own reputation higher than ever, and secured the subsequent good-will of the colonial authorities. Moshesh 'died, full of years and honor, about twenty-five years ago, having built up, out of the dispersed remnants of broken tribes, a nation which, under the guiding hand of the missionaries, and latterly of the British government also, has made greater progress in civilization and Christianity than any other Kafir race.

I return from this digression to trace the fortunes of the emigrant Boers who had remained on the north side of the Quathlamba range, or had returned thither from Natal. In 1843 they numbered not more than 15,000 persons all told, possibly less; for, though fresh emigrants from the colony had joined them, many had perished in the native wars. They were scattered over an area 700 miles long and 300 miles wide-an area bounded on the southeast by the Quathlamba mountain chain, but on the north and west divided by no natural limit from the great plain which stretches west to the Atlantic and north to the Zambesi. To have established any kind of government over so wide a territory would have been in any case difficult. But the very qualities which had enabled them with so much success to carry out their exodus from Cape Colony, and their campaigns of conquest against the natives, made the task of government still more difficult. They were selfreliant and individualistic » to excess; they loved not only independence, but isolation; they were resolved to make their government absolutely popular, and were little disposed to brook the control even of those authorities they had themselves created. It was only for warlike expeditions, for which they had contracted a great taste, that they could be brought together, and only to their leaders in

war that they would yield obedience. Very few had taken to agriculture, and the halfnomadic life of stock-farmers, each pasturing his cattle over great tracts of country, confirmed their dissociative instincts. However, the necessities of defense against the natives, and a common spirit of hostility to the claims of sovereignty which the British government had never renounced, kept them together. Thus several small republican communities grew up, each with its Volksraad, or popular assembly, held together by a sort of loosely federative tie, which rested rather in a common understanding than upon any legal instruments. In the northeast, beyond the Vaal River, these communities, while distracted by internal feuds chiefly arising from personal or family enmities, were left undisturbed by the colonial authorities. Those authorities, as I have already observed, were in those days, under orders received from home, anxious rather to contract than to extend the sphere of British influence, and would have cared little for what happened far out in the wilderness but for the native troubles which the presence of the Boers induced. At last, in 1852, the then governor of Cape Colony concluded at Sand River a convention with the commandant and delegates of the Boers living beyond the Vaal, by which the British government «guaranteed to the emigrant farmers beyond the Vaal River the right to manage their own affairs, and to govern themselves according to their own laws, without any interference on the part of the British government,» subject to a condition that slavery should not be permitted or practised by the farmers in the country north of the Vaal River. From this convention the South African Republic, afterward slowly formed out of the small communities which then divided the country, dates its independence. Two years later a similar convention, signed at Bloemfontein in February, 1854, declared the independence from the British crown of the inhabitants of the country nearer the colony between the Orange and Vaal rivers. In this country, then called the Orange River Sovereignty, the colonial government had exercised practical control, and six years before (in 1848) it had defeated in battle an army of the farmers who endeavored to resist that authority. Moreover, whereas the farmers beyond the Vaal were nearly all of pure Boer stock, those in the Orange River Sovereignty were mixed with English settlers, and from their proximity to the colony were much less averse to the British connection. In fact, a large part of them-though it is

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